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The Achievements and Shortcomings of the United Nations

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Abstract

I am very conscious that the kind of assessment I have been asked to make must be greatly influenced by my own background and experience. My perceptions might have been very different if I had been a politician, a political scientist, a peace activist or an international civil servant. But I have been none of these. My experience for 38 years was as a New Zealand public servant who for much of his working life was required to deal with UN affairs in one capacity or another, whether in Wellington or in New York. I have now been long enough away from the diplomatic coal face, I hope, to have broadened my perceptions and positioned myself to be able to make a more detached, a more balanced, appraisal of the UN’s record of achievements and shortcomings than might have been the case a decade ago. But then, I suppose we all think like that.

Keywords

Security Council Nuclear Weapon International Labour Organisation Permanent Member Special Rapporteur 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    F. P. Walters, A History of the League of Nations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1952), Vol. I, pp. 1–2.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Henry Kissinger, Diplomacy (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994), pp. 58— 79, 165–7.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ibid., pp. 52–3.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ibid., pp. 826 and 833.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Walters, A History of the League of Nations, pp. 63–4.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Articles 15(8) of the League Covenant and 2(7) of the UN Charter.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    James Allan, ‘Harm from the Bill of Rights Act’, Press (Christchurch), 1 March 1995.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Tavita v Minister of Immigration (1994) 1 New Zealand Law Review 257. Helen Fawthorpe, ‘Human Rights’, in Malcolm Templeton, ed., New Zealand as an International Citizen (Wellington: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 1995), p. 101.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    UN General Assembly Resolution 48/141 of 29 December 1993 established the post.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Articles 1(2) and 2(1).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    David Lange, Dominion (Wellington), 15 January 1995 and the Press (Christchurch), 28 April 1995.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ramesh Thakur, ‘Peace-keeping’, in Malcolm Templeton, ed., New Zealand as an International Citizen: Fifty Years of United Nations Membership (Wellington: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 1995), p. 73.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Resolution 1379(XIV) of 20 November 1959.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    K. J. Holyoake, ‘The Problem of Nuclear Weapons’, statement of 31 May 1963, External Affairs Review 13 (May 1963), pp. 30–1.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Resolution 3477 (XXX) of 11 December 1975.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Statement by Douglas Graham, the Minister for Disarmament, at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review and Extension Conference, 21 April 1995; New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade Record 3 (April 1995). See also the press statement by Graham at the conclusion of the Conference, 12 May 1995.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Press statement by Messrs Don McKinnon and Douglas Graham on 9 May 1995 stated that a submission would be made before 20 June.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    See Bruce S. Bennett, New Zealands Moral Foreign Policy 1935–39: The Promotion of Collective Security through the League of Nations (Wellington: New Zealand Institute of Interttational Affairs, 1988) pp. 40–2 and 68–71.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Dominion (Wellington), 19 May 1995.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Press (Christchurch), 5 May 1995.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    George F. Kennan, ‘On American Principles’, Foreign Affairs 74 (March/April 1995), p. 125.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kissinger, Diplomacy, p. 833.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

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